Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Roger Ebert, Don’t Worry…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Katzman's Cinema Komments — Bob at 7:26 pm on Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Between January 3rd,2008 and April 13th, 2008, after Rick Munden and I agreed to see if we could create a blog that people would actually read, I wrote thirteen off-the-wall movie reviews of favorite old movies plus much more that I felt would interest people.  Except for review # 12, in which I argued that Amy Adams wasn’t sexy enough to keep three men on a string in a British movie I otherwise liked very much, and in the process attempted to define screen sexiness and suggested it could be a good parlor game, most people didn’t read my reviews. I regret that.

However, hundreds read # 12, so I guess, as they say, sex sells.

I have since revised my opinion of Miss Adams and her charms.  Some women get much better as they mature, and she seems to be a good case for that.  But then, who am I to say?

If you are intrigued, go to the list on the right of this page and look at the list of categories, you can click on Katzman’s Cinema Komments.   I think you will find my eccentric take on the movies is well worth your time.

I quit writing reviews to concentrate on all the other true stories since posted.   They are worth your time too, as are Rick’s stories.

As far as Roger Ebert, in 1970 he ran a class at the University of Chicago Extension in Downtown Chicago called (cleverly) Film Criticism, which I took twice.   We got to know each other a little, especially when he found out I was selling thousands of Chicago Sun-Times with his column in it at my wooden newsstand in Hyde Park every week.   His class was wonderful and well attended.  I missed a couple of the classes when my newsstand burned down that winter, but that’s another story.

He was very generous with his time, was completely unpretentious despite his growing fame and remained friendly to me through the years.  When Bob’s Newsstand closed in 1985 after 20 years, when I was thirty-five and out of work, he offered to see if he could get me a job as a writer at the Sun-Times.  About a month later, I did get a call from someone at the Times offering me a chance to work for them.  I turned it down because I must have thought I had something better going, which it turns out, I didn’t.  I have often wondered which way my life might have gone if I had decided to say “yes” to the opportunity.  But the point is, Ebert kept his word.  Character, man.

Ebert and I share something else, unfortunately, besides a love of the movies.

In the late Forties and early Fifties there was this new “cutting edge” way of dealing with swollen thyroid glands in babies and young children.  It involved truly massive doses of the newly discovered as a medical tool, x-rays.

Ebert, a few years older than I am, was one of those small babes and I was too, in 1951, at the age of one.  So was Gene Siskel, who died from the cancer it eventually caused in all three of us.  I lost part of my left jaw at 18, but Roger’s cancer was much worse, causing him to more recently lose much of his lower face and his voice, too.

I love the man, am a fan of his, respect his writing and feel terrible about how late Forties idiocy about “new cures” caused him, and so many thousands of others, so much agony later in life.

One more thing.  When I posted the first of my books on Amazon, years ago, in an effort to convince the world I was a writer, in a whole year only one person bought my book on line.  It was Roger Ebert, who not only paid for my book, but also sent me a signed copy of his own latest book.  It is one of my most treasured possessions, as are my memories of him, in print and on TV on Oscars night over the decades.  The Oscar’s are on this week, and I will miss his commentary very much, after the show is over.

To me, he defines class and talent and I wish I could wave a magic wand and put him back together.

So, I hope you will reread my reviews, tell others about them and take into consideration that I was influenced forty years ago–at twenty– to pay closer attention to obscure independent movies and foreign films by Roger Ebert.

Roger, I did.

Thanks so much.

Bob Katzman


Publishing News! 

Bob Katzman’s two new true Chicago books are now for sale, from him!
Vol. One: A Savage Heart  and Vol. Two: Fighting Words

Gritty, violent, friendship, classic American entrepreneurship love, death, heartbreak and the real dirt about surviving in a completely corrupt major city under the Chicago Machine. More history and about one man’s life than a person may imagine.

Please visit my new website: https://www.dontgoquietlypress.com
If a person doesn’t want to use PayPaI, I also have a PO Box & I ship anywhere in America.

Send me a money order with your return and contact info.
I will get your books to you within ten days.
Here’s complete information on how to buy my books:

Vol 1: A Savage Heart and Vol. 2: Fighting Words
My books weigh almost 2 pounds each, with about 525 pages each and there are a total together of 79 stories and story/poems.

Robert M. Katzman
Don’t Go Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998                                                                                                                    (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $24.95 each, plus shipping

For: (1)$3.95; (2)$5.95; (3)$7.95; (4)$8.95 (5)$9.95;(6) $10.95

(7) $11.95; (8) $12.95; (9)$13.95 (10)$15.95 (15)$19.95

I am also for hire if anyone wants me to read my work and answer questions in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Schools should call me for quantity discounts for 30 or more books. Also: businesses, bookstores, private organizations or churches and so on.

My Fighting Words Publishing Co. four original books, published between 2004 and 2007 are now out-of-print. I still have some left and will periodically offer them for sale on my new website.

 Twitter handdle: bob_katzman

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